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Cat calling

(18 Posts)
Ttbb Wed 13-Sep-17 17:28:46

So I have spent the past few years having children (I.e. Either pregnant or with one or two small children with me). During this time I have not been cat called once until recently. Recently I have been going out alone more often (but have Alain experienced cat calling with my DC in tow). I didn't realise that I had grown uunaccustomed to it. I barely noticed in the past but now I get really pissed off-perhaps I am starting to assimilate into British culture more than I realised (although I really don't have the time to be giving lectures on good manners). It has made me wonder though what other female experiences, unpleasant experiences, I have become numb to. What do you think? Have you ever experienced anything similar after shorter term changes like pregnancy etc?

Girlywurly Wed 13-Sep-17 18:38:24

First catcall I got after my pregnancy was a bit stronger than what I'd been accustomed to previously: a bunch of guys leaning out of their white van and hollaring at me that I was a 'slut' as I pushed DD in her pram. I didn't really know what to make of it, other than the obvious of course.

Ttbb Wed 13-Sep-17 19:36:54

Those kinds of cat calling are particularly unpleasant-what kind of jerk does it to a woman with a baby though?

Girlywurly Wed 13-Sep-17 19:57:50

Yes, what struck me was that they all acted as one. Seems to make it a lot worse somehow. If someone I was driving with started yelling that kind of abuse at a stranger, I'd be totally flummoxed - and then demand to know what on earth they thought they were doing. But in the couple of seconds it took them to spot me and then zoom past, they were all immediately on script. Clearly something about my appearance had unanimously triggered their slut radar. Or maybe it was just that I had the audacity to be out with DD in the middle of the day, unchaperoned by a husband? God knows.

Anyway, bit of a derail I'm afraid, OP

Ttbb Wed 13-Sep-17 21:07:43

I used to get that a lot walking around in school uniform especially during the summer (we had straw hats). It always gave me quite a shock.

DJBaggySmalls Wed 13-Sep-17 21:15:56

I've seen some very unpleasant cat calling directed at older women. I don't understand the motivation behind it.

NoLoveofMine Wed 13-Sep-17 22:37:30

I think the motivation is the same to all women and girls, intimidation and enjoying exerting their power over you, their ability to make you uncomfortable in public.

SpaghettiAndMeatballs Thu 14-Sep-17 08:20:45

If someone I was driving with started yelling that kind of abuse at a stranger, I'd be totally flummoxed - and then demand to know what on earth they thought they were doing

This. This is rape culture, this is misogyny - this is men as a class thinking it's OK to harass women in the street.

If it was just a few bad -apples- men then the others in the car would have told him to stop, but they didn't. They joined in.

NoLoveofMine Thu 14-Sep-17 08:39:09

Very much so SpaghettiAndMeatballs, shown also by how often men and boys in groups harass women and girls and cases such as this:

thedancingbear Thu 14-Sep-17 08:40:27

this is men as a class thinking it's OK to harass women in the street.

But we don't think this! Most men think people who do this are nob ends.

Ttbb Thu 14-Sep-17 13:54:59

I think that is taking it a bit far, nice normal men that I know would never dream of yelling my anything at anyone-let alone a stranger or even worse a comment about a stranger's appearance. This is more of a manners problem mixed with misogyny. Then of course there are the women cat callers- I wonder whether men find it equally as uncomfortable. I generally don't feel unsafe when cat called but when I am with my children I feel like I can't tell them off, no matter how much I would like to, just in case.

thedancingbear Thu 14-Sep-17 14:58:54

Then of course there are the women cat callers

No such thing, in my experience (or at any rate, very rare - I think i've been catcalled and/or beeped by women twice in 41 years on the planet). Willing to be proved wrong.

Ttbb Thu 14-Sep-17 15:10:14

I've seen it happen a few times but far, far less common than men who cat call.

SpaghettiAndMeatballs Thu 14-Sep-17 16:46:06

But we don't think this! Most men think people who do this are nob ends

And yet it continues - there are plenty of women who could be described as nob ends, but they don't drive around yelling out the window as a rule.

Why is there a level of acceptability that means these men feel they can do it? Why, the first time the guy in the passenger seat did it, did his two mates next to him not elbow him in the ribs and stop him? I know I would - hell, I have, when a previous DP bellowed out the window at his mates, and that was to people he knew, but what he yelled I felt wasn't appropriate to yell out on a public street!

I'm not tolerating nob ends, most women don't want to be cat called and wouldn't tolerate nob ends - that just leaves men.

DeleteOrDecay Thu 14-Sep-17 17:15:28

Cat calling makes me feel nauseous to be honest. It's not happened to me since having dc (weight gain possibly explains it). It's the whole entitlement thing though, men feeling entitled to comment so publicly on a woman's appearance. As if the woman is supposed to a) give a shiny shite what some irrelevant sleaze ball thinks, b) take it as a compliment (although some women apparently doconfused) and c) feel embarrassed and intimidated by the whole fiasco.

Girlywurly Thu 14-Sep-17 21:30:22

Catcalling is based on a series of very unpleasant premises:

1. You exist to sexually gratify me.
2. I'm entitled to inform you of my opinion of you, and you should heed it.
3. I'm entitled to transgress your boundaries and infringe upon your privacy.
4. I don't care about how you feel about the above.

Girlywurly Thu 14-Sep-17 21:41:33

I've never heard of, or seen, a woman catcalling a man. I often notice good-looking men in the street, but the idea that I would shout out remarks about their physique or demand a smile is simply absurd.

Ttbb Thu 14-Sep-17 22:17:31

Girlywurly-exactly! It really makes me want to sit them down and give them a good long lecture about basic manners (I have become extremely patronising since becoming a mother but then again they clearly need it).

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